October 31, 2009

Flushing Meadow Park And Flushing Bay

I decided to go to Flushing Meadow to see if i could find any members of the resident red-tail family. I hung around by the Unisphere for a while to see if I could catch them making any additions to their new nest. After having no luck finding them there, I walked over to the Fountains of the Planets. I didn't Immediately see any Hawks in the area, but something definitely had the large group of Gulls, Brants, Cormorants, and Canadian Geese on edge. After searching the sky for several moments, I noticed one particular bird move at a far greater speed than the other birds. After watching it for a while, it suddenly dove from the sky and made a spectacular stoop and nearly tore the head off a Herring Gull that was perched atop a light post no more than 10 feet off the ground. After barely missing the gull, it turned on the brakes, flew in reverse, and continued its pursuit of other birds. I mad to snap a few pics of the bird, and upon zoom in the the pics it appears to be a Peregrine Falcon. I've seen Falcons around the city a few times, but never in pursuit of prey. This speed at which this bird moved was quite impressive. The strangest part was the gull that nearly lost its head seemed hardly fazed by the Falcon's attempt to kill it. It never attempted to flee or seek retribution against the Falcon. Maybe things happened so fast, it couldn't react. I once saw a Falcon perched atop an powerline tower in Woodside, and within moments of being there, a Lesser Black-backed Gull attempted to flattened him and stealing his perch atop the tower. The gulls feet had actually grazed the Falcon's back before it flew away. Gulls don't seem to be intimidated by anything. I once kept an injured gull in my apartment for 3 days before Animal Control finally came and picked it up. I kept it in a box that must have been at least 4 feet long. Every attempt I made to place food for it in the box, the gull would strike viciously and squawk at me. He managed to catch me on the arm one time, and put a long scrape on my right arm as I pulled away that was over a foot long.

A short while later I spotted a Kestrel hunting Starlings over the Shea Stadium LIRR station. After making a few attempts, I lost sight of him momentarily, only to find that he had caught something (probably a sparrow). I also spotted a juvenile Great Blue Heron in Flushing Bay, and a groundhog below where the Kestrel was hunting.

I spent about an hour and a half searching around the World's Fair Marina and managed to spot the pair of Mute Swans that frequent the area, Mallards, Gulls, several species of Sparrows, and 4 Lesser Yellowlegs.

Unfortunately, I never spotted the resident Hawks, so I will make another attempt this week to get an update on them.


No comments: